Take What They Give You and You Keep it Inside

Some of my friends and I share music with one another while we work. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Lisa Loeb – Tails (1995)

Tim isn’t known to share (mostly) acoustic singer/songwriter stuff, but here you go. This is something his wife introduced him to and has stuck with him.

She reminds me of an un-politically charged Ani diFranco. Not exactly chill. Obviously passionate. The chords changes and melodic structures aren’t what I’d expect, but the execution is great. Some bands make it sound like their atypical songwriting was a mistake, but her band (Nine Stories) is tight.

This is a really solid album. The only lowlight for me was When All the Stars were Falling. It just couldn’t keep my interest. I didn’t particularly care for the lyrics on Waiting for Wednesday; they seemed kind of unimaginative to me.

Hurricane was the only song that made me want to listen again. The rest of the album seemed just alright. 3/5

There was also a full band version bonus track of Sandalwood I couldn’t find.

Here’s what my friends had to say:

“The cover and the opening bars, I was expecting a kind of folksy singer songwriter hipster album, but actually there was a a lot of breadth in this album that I didn’t expect. I couldn’t listen super deeply so I’m not sure I caught the intimacy you mention, but I enjoyed it. It didn’t leave me feeling like i had to listen again, but I might try again.” 3.8/5 – Spencer

Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (2007)

I either love or hate Arcade Fire. Some of their stuff, like Intervention off this album (those organs are absolutely fantastic), is absolutely fantastic. Other stuff is just weird and I want to skip it.

This album is better than some of their others in that regard, although I still don’t love the opening track, the title track or especially Black Wave/Bad Vibrations.

Chris said this album “has a grandiose “Springsteenian” urgency to it,” but I don’t hear that. Maybe I need to listen to Springsteen.

I’ve listened to this whole album a handful of times before, and I thought I knew it well enough to write a review without listening to it, but I don’t remember liking Anti-Christ Television Blues as much as I did listening to it this week. Along with Intervention and Keep the Car Running, it was one of the highlights of the album for me. 3.14/5

From my friends:

“I have to say that I liked this album much better than funeral. The vocals didn’t bother me as much and there seemed to be more rock in it. Maybe I’m just getting used to it. I heard some tracks that really made me think of Springsteen, maybe just because you primed me to think that way. Dunno. Still not totally sold on them though. I only got 1 listen through and would like to give it another.” 3.9/5 – Spencer

“I expected so much more from this album considering how much people like them. Overall I felt like it was just overly creative nonsense, but with talent. So yeah, I think they are very talented and creative, getting the 3-star, but I think the quality as an album isn’t much beyond, “That was good.”” 3/5 – Tim

Harry Connick, Jr. – Star Turtle (1996)

This week, I’m throwing back to the mid-’90s when I was listening to my siblings’ CD collections (thank you, Columbia House CD club). Harry is known for his jazz, but this album is also a blended with pop, rock and funk. In fact, if you switch the amounts of jazz and pop, it reminds me of Michael Bublé; Michael is more of a crooner, where Harry is just modern vocal jazz.

This isn’t his most critically acclaimed album, but it’s the album that got me into him and the one I come back to most often. I won’t be offended if you skip the title tracks. They’re kind of weird, but the rest of the album is really good. I especially like the three tracks between Star Turtle 3 and 4.

Here’s what my friends had to say:

“Wow, either this is weird for HCJ or I just didn’t realize what sort of stuff he does. To be fair, I more or less have only heard one of his Christmas albums and some Sinatra covers. The Star Turtle tracks are pretty weird. But some of thee rocked pretty hard, like Eyes of the Seeker. Some seemed pretty straight swing like I’d expect, but it was cool to have the variety. I didn’t think though that the more pop or rock tunes really showed his vocal talent. He just kinda sounded like anybody on them. Still, this has me intrigued, I might go back and listen to more Harry. It was pleasantly surprising.” 4.0/5 – Spencer

“This was a really interesting album. I didn’t think I would like it two tracks in, but then it just kind of shifted (or my frame of mind did) and it began to take on a life of it’s own. I don’t know if it is his hypnotic voice, or the chill vibe, but after a while it just kind of…became. I don’t know how else to say it, but I just felt like I went to a different level of consciousness.

This is a much better album than I think people give it credit for. I think I would listen to it again.” 4/5 – Tim

Leave your own thoughts down in the comments section.

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One thought on “Take What They Give You and You Keep it Inside

  1. Pingback: Rocking You to Sleep from the Otherside | An American Audio-logue

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